The Easy Way Out






Warning: Major character death




Justin’s POV



My mind has been racing all night with thoughts of Brian. It had been like that ever since I broke up with Ethan. If I was honest with myself, I would have to admit that it started after the Rage party. I never wanted to leave with Ethan, but Brian left me no other choice. I asked him if he would care if I wasn’t there, but he told me it was my choice. I probably would have tried to hang in there until I saw him in the back room. He had Melanie and Lindsey tell me he was looking for me so I would find him fucking someone else on my night. He was pushing me away. What was I supposed to do? Stay and fight for him? Hadn’t I been doing that since the night we met? I was tired. Too tired to fight. I had found my limit and Ethan was there, offering me a way out. I was a fool. I took it.


Things were good for awhile. I missed Brian terribly, but I had Ethan to help me move on. He offered me everything I ever wanted from Brian and I thought that would be enough. Who knows? Maybe it would have been if the bastard meant it. Maybe in time I would have gotten over Brian, if Ethan kept his promises, but he didn’t. He’s worse than Brian ever could be. Brian was always honest. He told me from day one not to expect too much from him. That he was never going to stop tricking. So even though he was fucking other people, I knew about it. Ethan told me I was all he wanted. Yeah, me and every drooling admirer that he came in contact with. So that was it. He was out of the picture, and Brian, who was never far from my thoughts, was suddenly back in focus.


I finally admitted my feelings to Daphne tonight. When I told her I couldn’t stop thinking about him, she thought I meant Ethan. As if he was worth my thoughts. I told her I was talking about Brian and asked her what I should do. Our conversation keeps replaying in my head.


“What do you do when you realize you’ve made the biggest fucking mistake of your pathetic, stupid life?”


“Bury it in your subconscious and forget about it?”


“Obviously, that’s not working.”


“Well, than deal with it. Tell him you still love him.”


“Yeah, right. He’d fucking laugh in my face.”


“Write him a letter?”


“He’d tear it up.”


“I don’t know. Attempt suicide?”


“He’d let me die.”


Then she went on and on about the way she stalked poor Billy Houser. I was only half listening. I mean come on. I already did the whole stalking thing. That’s how I got Brian to let me stick around the first time. I had to face the fact that I was fucked, and without lube. Maybe she was right? Maybe suicide was the best way to go. I mean really, what other choice do I have? I can’t live without him. Daphne is getting tired of me. My parents don’t want me. I know committing suicide is taking the easy way out, but after everything that has happened to me in the last couple of years, I need easy. Plans were forming in my head. Daphne had left shortly after our conversation. She had a date and wouldn’t be home till late. She told me not to wait up. I grabbed a pen and paper and sat down to write a letter to Brian. I knew that I should have written one to the others, but Brian is all that matters. I’m not even sure what to say at first, but once the words start flowing, everything comes easy.



Dear Brian,


I’m sorry I had to do this. It was the only way. I needed to take the easy way out for once, and this was it. I just wanted to say a few things to you and I hope you at least take the time to read this. I wanted to say thank you for all you have done for me. I don’t know how I would have made it this far without you. I always felt safe knowing you were there for me. As for my leaving with Ethan, I know it was your idea. You wanted me to be happy and thought that I would have been better off with him. Any selfish person would have kept me around, regardless of how I was feeling. You set me free to be my own person and I thank you for that. I really did think I would have been better off with someone who loved me. I never really loved Ethan, you know. I just wanted someone who only wanted to be with me, and I thought he was the one. Apparently, I was wrong about him. I should have stayed where I was. At least you were always honest with me. Now it is my turn to be honest with you. I love you. You are a wonderful person, even though you try so hard to hide it. You never fooled me. I just wish that you could open up to someone and let them in. Maybe one day you will find the strength to love someone and be loved back. I always hoped that person could be me, but my time has run out. Please take care of yourself and know that you have given me so much in our time together. For that I will be eternally grateful. I guess this time I will not say later, I guess this time it’s goodbye.







By the time I was finished, the tears were flowing freely down my face. I didn’t care anymore. The pain would be gone soon enough. I put the letter in an envelope with his name across the front, and sealed it, knowing that Daphne would make sure that she delivered it to him. I calmly smoked a cigarette, as if tonight was any other night, but it wasn’t. Tonight was my last night. I went to the bathroom and found what I was looking for. I broke the disposable razor and took out the blade. There in the bathroom, where I wouldn’t make a mess on the carpet, I slit my wrists. I could feel my blood pouring from my veins and for one split second, I had doubts. Maybe I was making a mistake? I guess it really didn’t matter anymore. I felt myself slide down the wall as my legs gave out and I could see Brian in my thoughts as I drifted into nothingness.





Brian’s POV



I was sitting home alone, thinking about Justin, when my cell phone rang. Looking at the caller ID I saw it was Justin’s cell phone and considered not answering it. I knew he and Ethan broke up and I wasn’t ready to forgive and forget just yet. I knew that we would eventually get back together. I think I’ve always known that. It was one of the reasons I set him free. So he could realize that our arrangement wasn’t so bad and come home to me, content with what I could offer him. The phone stopped ringing and I breathed a sigh of relief until it started ringing again. I took a deep breath and answered it, not knowing that my world was about to change.


“Hello?” I answered, bracing myself for the sound of his voice. I was shocked to here Daphne on the other end.


“Brian? It’s Daphne. I am sorry to call so late. I didn’t know what else to do. I’m at the hospital. Justin…” She sobbed, unable to continue.


“Daphne! Calm down! What about Justin? Is he alright?” I asked frantically. I had an uneasy feeling wash over me. I knew that whatever happened, it wasn’t good.


“I don’t know, Brian. The doctor’s are with him. They can’t tell me anything yet. I don’t know if he’s going to make it. There was so much blood.” She was crying again, so I tried to sooth her as I grabbed my jacket and headed out the door. I needed to get to him. Justin needed me.


“It’s okay, Daphne, I’m on my way. Just tell me what happened.” I was already in my car, heading towards the hospital. I dared the cops to try to pull me over for speeding.


“He…he…tried to commit suicide!” She started sobbing again, but I couldn’t offer comfort this time.


I could barely breath. Suicide? My whole body started to shake and I felt tears forming behind my eyes. How could someone like Justin attempt suicide? My Sunshine wouldn’t do something like that. There had to be some kind of mistake. “How?” was all I was able to choke out.


“He slit his wrists. God, Brian There was blood all over the place. I didn’t know what to do. I called 911...they told me to…wrap his wrists…in…a towel…” She couldn’t go on, memories of the events racing through her mind.


“Did you call Jennifer?” I asked, trying to keep it together.


“She’s away this week, visiting her parents. You are the only person I called. I thought about calling Craig…” She didn’t finish her thoughts.


“No! I’ll be there in a few minutes. I’m right around the corner.” I told her before disconnecting the call.


I pulled into the lot and jumped out of the car, racing inside the ER to find Daphne sitting there with a lost look in her eyes. She was covered in blood, Justin’s blood, and my mind flashed back to the prom. This was different, though. This was something that could have been avoided if only Justin had talked to someone. When Daphne saw me she jumped up and into my arms, sobbing on my chest. We have never been close, but I always liked the girl and I knew she liked me, too. Once she settled down I asked her if there was any word. There was none, so we sat in the waiting room together, drawing comfort from each other. After a few moments she reached in her pocket and pulled out an envelope with my name on it.


“I found this while the paramedics were trying to stabilize him. I figured you would want to read it so I brought it with me.” She said as she handed me the envelope.


I took it from her with a shaky hand and stared at Justin’s writing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it, but I knew that I had to. I needed to know what he was thinking. I rose from my chair silently and walked outside, wanting to be alone. As I read his words, a sob escaped my lips at the pain he was feeling. He really didn’t know that I loved him. I thought back to our time together and realized that it was all my fault. I wouldn’t tell him how I felt because I was afraid. I was afraid that if I admitted my feelings, he would have the power over me. He would be able to hurt me. Every time I felt him getting closer to me, I pulled away. No wonder he didn’t know. I was overcome with feelings of regret. I promised myself that I would tell him the truth as soon as I was allowed to see him. I would make sure he knew that I loved him, that I wanted to be with him. I would open myself up to him and finally let him in. Taking a deep breath, I wiped my eyes and made my way back to Daphne just as the doctor came out with some news. Daphne stood and took my hand and together we faced the doctor.


“We did everything we could. He lost too much blood. There was nothing more we could do. I’m sorry,” he said, his voice full of compassion.


I heard Daphne gasp then start sobbing as she let go of my hand and raced outside. I guess she needed to get away. I stood there frozen for a moment before looking the doctor in the face. I knew there was something I needed to do.


“Can I see him?” I choked, fighting the tears that were trying to escape.


“Yes. Right this way.” He answered, and led me back to the room where Justin had just passed away.


As I walked in the room, the first thing I noticed was how pale he looked. His eyes were closed and his sunshine smile was gone. It hit me all at once that it was gone forever and I broke down, sobbing uncontrollably. I approached the body lying on the bed and took his hand in mine. I made a promise to myself and I intended to keep it. I pulled up a chair and sat down, ready to pour my heart out to the man I loved.


“Justin, it’s me. I don’t know if you can hear me, but I need to tell you something. It’s something that I should have told you so long ago. I love you. I think I always have, I was just too scared to admit it. You were the first person to touch my heart and I will never forget you. I wish you could have come to me. I wish you could have told me what you were feeling before you took away our future. I’m sorry that it took me so long to tell you how I feel. I wish I could just see that smile of yours one last time. It’s sad that you thought you had to do this. I guess you never really knew how much you were loved. Well rest in peace, Justin, and know that you are loved and always will be. You will be missed, more than you will ever know. I guess this time I will not say later, I guess this time it’s goodbye.”


I kissed his lips for the last time and slowly walk out of the room. As I walked away, leaving Justin behind, I knew that I would never be the same. Justin touched me in a way that no one else ever has and now he is gone. After pushing his way in and shattering my walls, he left me alone to pick up the pieces. Now I have to find a way to live without any sunshine in my life. He should have just taken me with him.


The End


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